Category Maternal Mental Health

Everyone Can Be an Advocate!

Joy Burkhard

Together We Can Change the Face of Maternal Mental Health Care
Joy Burkhard, MBA

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

At 2020 Mom, our name reflects one overarching goal: to close the gaps in maternal mental health (MMH) by the year 2020. Given what you’ve read in previous posts about the state of care, this may seem like an ambitious deadline, but we believe it is possible.

As a nonprofit maternal mental health advocacy organization, 2020 Mom is dedicated to offering tangible steps stakeholders can take to effect change. Since we launched in California in 2011, we’ve seen a groundswell begin to bubble up nationally. Providers, insurers, and health care systems are starting to recognize the magnitude of the gap in care when it comes to maternal mental health because of the work so many are doing.

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How Legislation Can Change the Face of Perinatal Mental Health

MA State Representative Ellen Story and U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark
with introductions by Dr. Nancy Byatt

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

Nancy Byatt: If we truly want to fix the state of perinatal mental health care in this country, a collaborative effort is essential. Achieving universal care will take the collective input of many different players – people with lived experience, providers, insurance companies, advocates, legislators, and more.

While every avenue of advancement is important, adopting legislation is a crucial piece of the puzzle; it’s the only way we can ensure pregnant and postpartum women get the care they need.

In Massachusetts, legislative efforts have been the foundation for the success of MCPAP for Moms. This is due in large part to MA Rep. Ellen Story, author of the 2010 Massachusetts Postpartum Depression legislation and co-chair of the Postpartum Depression (PPD) Commission. The Commission offers recommendations on PPD policy to the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Mental Health (MDPH and DMH), which in turn funds MCPAP for Moms. Representative Story has been instrumental in helping Massachusetts become a leader in the field of perinatal mental health care.

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Mental Health Support for Moms Is as Close as a Phone Call

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

Ann Smith, CNM, President, Postpartum Support International

For a woman suffering from perinatal depression, anxiety, or another mood disorder, there’s nothing scarier than feeling alone, abandoned, or without the help she so desperately needs.

I understand this issue all too well, because I had severe anxiety after giving birth to my second and third children. Unfortunately, there was little help available at the time. Those difficult experiences inspired me to make a lifelong commitment to the cause.

Now, I’m the president of Postpartum Support International (PSI), an organization dedicated to promoting awareness, prevention, and treatment of perinatal mental health issues. PSI offers a lifeline to moms in need in every state in the U.S. and across the globe.

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How MCPAP for Moms Offers a Lifeline to Providers and Women in Need

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

How MCPAP for Moms Offers a Lifeline to Providers and Women in Need
Nancy Byatt, D.O., M.S., M.B.A., F.A.P.M., with contributions by Jamie Belsito and Amanda Martin

With nearly 15% of pregnant or postpartum women suffering from depression and very few medical providers able to offer effective treatment, it’s clear there’s a serious gap in available care.

JaimieAs we’ve discussed throughout this series, this is a national health crisis, and the answer, in short, is for the system to expand its capacity for care.

Through our work in Massachusetts, we’ve found that a centralized program allows us to easily increase the care that physicians are able to offer. Doing so simultaneously solves a major dilemma for providers, who have long felt frustrated at their inability to help mothers in need— and helps patients feel secure and supported. That’s the role the MCPAP for Moms (Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project for Moms) has been filling since its inception last year.

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